BY FROMA HARROP
Brett Kavanaugh’s fraught relationship with the truth took another hit Sunday, when a classmate from Yale called the Supreme Court nominee’s claim of being a moderate drinker in college a “blatant mischaracterization.” Under oath, Kavanaugh said that he was too busy being angelic – studying and playing sports – to get stumbling drunk.
“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer,” Chad Ludington, a fellow athlete, wrote in a statement. The drunk Kavanaugh would also turn belligerent. In one episode, Ludington recalled, he threw a beer in the face of a man who had made a semi-hostile remark.
It is a mark of the habitual liar to tell untruths that don’t even advance one’s cause. I wouldn’t want to saddle anyone with the stupid things they did in high school or college. Drinking to excess is commonplace. It’s certainly not a hanging offense if the person has since shaped up.
But Kavanaugh lied and lied in a shockingly casual manner. One example was his assertion that drinking at the age of 18, which he did much of, was legal. It took no time to check the fact that Maryland had by then raised the drinking age to 21.
Sexually assaulting a female student would cross the line of forgivable high school misdeeds. On that, we await the results of an FBI probe into Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh violently attacked her while in high school.
In the meantime, we can sift through the pile of fresh lies delivered under oath. And we can wonder why there are so many.
Kavanaugh told the senators that his yearbook mentions of boofing and a devil’s triangle referred to farting and a drinking game, respectively. Neither is true. Boofing means sticking alcohol or drugs in one’s rectum. And a devil’s triangle is three-way sex involving one woman and two men.
A high school boy with a dirty mind? No big deal. A man nominated for the Supreme Court baldly lying about what he meant? A big deal.
Kavanaugh’s yearbook reference to being a “Renate Alumnius” was brutally cruel. Renate was a girl from a nearby Catholic school. Boys in his crowd boasted of having had their way with her. Kavanaugh insisted that his words were intended “to show affection” and that all he and Renate shared was “a brief kiss good night.” The grown-up Renate rejects that explanation and insists they never kissed.
Kavanaugh’s show of self-control took a dive toward the hearing’s end when he flew into a red-faced tantrum. He accused Democrats – singling out The Clintons – of seeking revenge against him over Donald Trump’s election.
To be sure, Democrats don’t want him on the Supreme Court. It’s worth noting, however, that Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, sailed through with minimal drama.
Compare Kavanaugh’s character with that of Merrick Garland, the Obama nominee Republicans refused to even interview. Garland hung in limbo for 10 months as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bragged about telling Obama, “You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.”
His hopes dashed with the election of Trump, Garland quietly went back to his job at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He continued his volunteer work tutoring kids at a Washington elementary school. There were no public expressions of anger, no wallowing in self-pity. He refused interviews.
Now we have a nominee who clearly lacks the temperament to act as an impartial justice. And that’s on top of his sea of lies. Whatever the FBI does or does not come up with, Kavanaugh has shown himself clearly unfit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
– Froma Harrop’s columns appear regularly in The Oklahoma Observer